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The Blackhawks made their moves to free up cap space, sending Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Is re-signing Andrew Shaw next on the docket?

The Blackhawks made it very clear they wanted Shaw to return, and the feeling is mutual with Shaw. Thanks to the $4 million of cap space the Blackhawks get in trading Bickell, a new Shaw deal is that much more likely.

“Yeah, the way Andrew played, obviously we like what he brings to the table and we’d like to try and make something work," said general manager Stan Bowman. "This is a step in the right direction. We had to move Bickell to have some flexibility as we go into next season. But it’s still unknown where cap is going to be so tough to predict what happens over the next couple of weeks.”

Shaw’s agent Pat Brisson said via email that he should be talking to Bowman at the upcoming NHL Draft in Buffalo. By then the Blackhawks should know the 2016-17 salary cap. As of now, it may not go up, if at all, so any cap space the Blackhawks could get was critical.

Meanwhile, Artemi Panarin will become a restricted free agent following this season. The Blackhawks can’t negotiate with Panarin’s camp until July but Bowman said the two sides will definitely talk as soon as they can – if Panarin wants to talk about it this early.


“We’ve had that in the past where certain players have chosen not to want to engage until the season is over, which is their right. We’ll see what their interest level is,” Bowman said. “Obviously he had a fantastic season and we love what he brings to the table. We want to work out a contract with him but it’s pretty early here. We can’t get into it for another couple weeks but we’ll approach it.”

When the Blackhawks had their closing meetings in late April, Bowman said he wanted to keep Shaw in Chicago. Shaw said the same. At that time, the Blackhawks didn’t have much cap space. They do now. And while it seems likely this leads to a new deal for Shaw, Bowman is still in wait-and-see mode.

“I’ve had discussions with them and we’re working through that. We still don’t know what the parameters are for next year,” Bowman said. “I know everyone wants an answer to that [Shaw] question but it’s too hard to make guesses at this point.”